Puerto Rico is surrounded by beaches. Some of the most beautiful places to be at. However, I’ve noticed beach safety knowledge or common sense is often missing in those not used to the ocean. Here are some tips to keep in mind when at the beach. It might prove helpful.
1. There are underlying currents. Each beach is different and some have more currents than others. Look at the water. Is there are ripple than seems to be moving in a particular direction? Drop a leaf in the water and see if it floats away… That’s the current. Mind it. It can be strong and has been known to drag children (and adults) away.
a. If you feel you are being dragged by the current, walk to a more shallow area or simply get out of the water. With kids, teach them to walk out of the water and walk back to where they first went in.
2. The rocks. The rocks at the beach are full of life. That means fish, starfish, and SEA URCHINS. Yup, watch it. You could get a needle in you. If you do, pull it out with pliers. If some of it remains and you can’t take it out… it will eventually find its way, however, it could take months. Trust me, my last erizo finally dug its way out of my toe after 3 months.
3. Do wear sunblock. If you don’t, you won’t tan, you will burn. Nothing is sadder than spending your beautiful Caribbean vacation tucked away under an umbrella because you forgot to wear sunscreen. Remember to reapply often!
4. Corals. There are lots of corals all over. Snorkeling around them can be fun, but please don’t touch them. They die when you do. If they are red… then seriously, don’t touch them. Red corals burn.
5. Plastic bags floating in the water? Sometimes, it will be a plastic bag, but the general rule of thumb is to steer clear of plastic, transparent-looking things in the water. If it seems to have strings or something dangling from it, even more so. It could be a jellyfish. Now I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve actually “seen” a jelly in Puerto Rico, however, I was very much stung by one when I was a kid, so they’re there.
6. Cobitos. These adorable little hermit crabs are fun for the kids. They tickle when they walk on your hand and it’s fun to build them a “hotel” or “obstacle course” in the sand. However, remember they are living creatures:
- Don’t throw them.
- Don’t hit their shell or pull them out.
- Don’t take them out of the beach.
Now go have some beach fun!